Courses & Units

Reacting to the Past HUM309


In 2020 we will be offering two games. In Greenwich Village your classroom is transformed to New York in 1913, where issue of Suffrage and Labour rights occupy the bohemians of the day. Defining a Nation plunges students into India’s struggle for sovereignty and identity in 1945.

Dr Nicki Tarulevicz if you would like to find out more about this new unit.


In this unit you will transform your classroom into a moment of historical controversy and intellectual ferment. Using sophisticated role immersion games (Reacting to the Past) as a way to learn, the class becomes an historical arena; students become characters from the past. Students will be divided into small groups after selecting one game from a range of games on offer in the unit (please note that not all games are necessarily on offer).

You might be Dr Ambedka, fighting for the representation of Untouchables in an India on the brink of independence. Or Emma Goldman, an anarchist at the turn of the twentieth-century in bohemian New York. You could be Philip Henslowe, the manager of the Rose Theatre, trying in 1592 to decide if it is too risky to perform Marlowe’s latest play. As a member of the United Nations in 1994 you might have to help decide if the events in Rwanda are genocide. Questions, such as the type of political system Athens should adopt in 403 B.C. confront Socrates and his supporters; are you one of them? As a Confucian scholar at the Hanlin Academy in Ming dynasty China, you must apply Confucian precepts to a dynasty in peril; can you prevail? Alternatively, you might find yourself confronting the intellectual, political, and ideological currents that surged through revolutionary Paris in the summer of 1791; can you shape the future of France? Can you, as Thomas Cromwell, succeed in reforming the English Parliament in 1529-1536?

In order to achieve your character’s agenda and your faction’s objectives you will need to engage with classic texts, undertake independent research, write speeches and position papers, give formal speeches, participate in informal debates and negotiations, and otherwise work to win the game. The game offers intensive small-group experiential learning, with team- and self-directed discovery, guided by the instructor/game master. You might like to see what other students have to say about playing these games.


Unit name Reacting to the Past
Unit code HUM309
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Arts, Law and Education
School of Humanities
Discipline History and Classics

Dr. Nicki Tarulevicz

Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No


This unit is currently unavailable.


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Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of historical causation.
  2. Use classic texts to make complex arguments and to evaluate arguments made by peers, with reference to a particular Humanities context or contexts.
  3. Demonstrate skills in clear and persuasive writing and speaking, in small group settings, online, and in class presentations, with reference to a particular Humanities context or context.
  4. Develop and deploy skills in negotiation, small group work, and leadership, with reference to a particular Humanities context or contexts.



Band Field of Education
1 090305

Fees for next year will be published in October. The fees above only apply for the year shown.

Please note: international students should refer to this page to get an indicative course cost.


25 credit points at introductory level


Teaching Pattern

2x 60 minute Workshop


Task 1: Reflective task (20%)

Task 2: Participation in-game (25%)

Task 3: Oral presentation (15%)

Task 4: In-game writing task #1 (20%)

Task 5: In-game writing task #2 (20%)

TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



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